ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif Sunday stressed on holding a national dialogue and developing a consensus on the charter of economy by all stakeholders to transform Pakistan into an economic power.
Addressing a national flag-hoisting and unveiling of re-recording ceremony of the national anthem at the Jinnah Convention Centre, the prime minister said: “Like our forefathers, on this 75th Independence Day, we vow to transform Pakistan into an economic power. If we can become a nuclear power, we can also become an economic power but for it we have to strive day and night and prove to the world that we are no less than anyone.”
The ceremony was attended by federal ministers, parliamentarians, senior military and law enforcement agencies leadership and people from all walks of life.
The Pakistan Movement, the prime minister maintained, is a lesson for everyone, which tells us when a nation sets the course of its path, hurdles cannot stop it from achieving its goals. The prime minister recalled that when Allama Iqbal had dreamt about a separate motherland, there was a sense of pessimism that it was not feasible. “We salute the founding fathers of Pakistan, who smashed the sense of pessimism and due to their historic struggle, we are now breathing in an independent and sovereign country,” he added.
The prime minister said, “For decades, Muslims in the sub-continent faced foreign subjugation; they laid down their lives, offered immense sacrifices, made a historic migration and lost their near and dear ones in the perilous journey to achieve a separate country. I pay tribute to all those who lost their lives in the independence movement.”
He said the creation of Pakistan was a sacred mission; the first phase of which was completed, but its second phase was still incomplete. “The mission is to give practical shape to ideals which were reflected in the March 23 Resolution. On its independence, Pakistan had been deprived of its due share, but despite all odds it made excellent progress in different fields and became the first nuclear power of the Islamic world,” he added.
He said the late Zulfikar Ali Bhutto had started the nuclear programme and former prime minister Nawaz Sharif realised it. “Pakistan has also been playing a key role in the UN peacekeeping missions, while its players excelled in different games. It is a fact that we have made progress in different arenas, but there are shortfalls which should be overcome. For making Pakistan an ideal nation-state as dreamt about by its founding fathers, we are ready to shed the last drop of our blood, foil enemy designs with the support of the brave armed forces and harness the true potential of youths,” he stressed.
The prime minister also lauded the contributions made by Pakistani expatriates and their valuable role in the development and prosperity of the country. He prayed for the liberation of Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK) and Palestine from illegal foreign occupation. He expressed grief over losses in flash floods in different parts of the country, especially in Balochistan. He also acknowledged the contributions of Abdul Sattar Edhi and Dr Ruth Pfau.
The prime minister also expressed the pleasure that the national anthem was re-recorded after 68 years, which represented national culture and appreciated efforts of the information ministry, ISPR and others. He unveiled the re-recorded national anthem which reflected updated inclusivity in voices and expression while ensuring the sanctity of original words and musical composition.
He highlighted the role of minorities in the Pakistan movement and appreciated their sacrifices. “Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah stressed religious freedom in newly-created Pakistan and said there would be the rule of law and democracy in the country,” he recalled. He said the government had accorded high priority to realise the true potential of youths and expressed the optimism that they would steer the country towards progress and prosperity by following Quaid’s principles of unity and discipline. He urged them to transform Pakistan into an ideal state and economic power, and accomplish the mission of forefathers by discarding the begging bowl.